Bristol ChemLabS

The award-winning Bristol ChemLabS project is not just about modern, well-equipped teaching laboratories (although we’d challenge you to find better equipped, more spacious teaching labs anywhere else). It also encompasses the way in which teaching is delivered through our unique Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM).

At Bristol, we will give you the tools you need to understand and practise experiments before you arrive in the laboratory. The lab class can then concentrate on what’s important and fun: doing chemistry.

Online simulations

How do you practise an experiment before the lab starts?  The DLM’s online simulations allow you to interact with equipments you will encounter in the lab. If you’re unsure how to set up a distillation apparatus, you can have a go online and get feedback to lead you through the process. To better understand IR spectroscopy, you can interactively change the atoms on each end of a chemical bond and see how this influences the frequency at which the bond vibrates.

Virtual reality

At Bristol we have a virtual reality lab that's dedicated to chemistry teaching.  This allows students to step inside an enzyme, interacting with the dynamic system in real time, and affording them an experience that is as educational as it is experiential. The use of VR technology allows students to directly manipulate the atoms of the molecule, and to model a chemical reaction ‘by hand’, rather than through the use of standard computational chemistry software.

Chemistry student in the teaching labs Image credit: Dan Rowley

The best labs

Our state-of-the-art teaching laboratories contain 62 two-person fume cupboards with a generous 1.2 metres width per student. 

You will be looked after by a demonstrator assigned to the experiment you are carrying out. Members of academic staff are also on hand to help out, and the laboratory is supported by our team of dedicated technical staff.

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